Even as the sentence left my mouth and I looked at the expression on sashdude and rexzilla's faces, I realised - I do live by the sea. I live in Bombay, barely 500 mts from the sea and a pretty decent beach and my office window overlooks an endless expanse of sea framed by tall buildings and a landmark island in the middle. In fact, its a joke that almost every house in Bombay opens on to the sea - whether it be one square inch only - or is next to it.
But the sea here is not what I call the sea. It is not the sea which attracts me, except from a sterile dry floor with A/C and fragrant air. The place where I can look out to its vast blue-greenishness without having to touch, feel and smell it.
The sea in Bombay is not what I call the sea. It is present. But it is not a place to go to. The beaches are filthy, the smells (not sea-ish but toxic) overpowering, and the water - well, its generally surmised that if you walk into the sea water of Mumbai you emerge with an extra head and few more digits.
The Sea is a place to relax. A place to 'dig your toes into the sand' to feel warm breeze laden with salt and water vapour wash over you, to let water lap over your feet. The sea is a place you go for a walk and emerge relaxed. Of course, one can go take a walk around Worli Sea Face (though not anymore thanks to construction work) but thats because its a safe height from the sea level and is totally sterilised by well made embankments and wide footpaths with seats for resting on.
The sea in Goa was like that. Present and available. The beaches inviting, ranging from the soft to the rocky. The breeze heavy and smelling faintly of the sea. And constant sound of splash of waves. I agree that looking out on to the sea and seeing fishing dinghies felt normal at some level, but it was definitely peaceful and different as it was relaxed. However, the feel of sand, the ability to walk into water, and the Beach-iness of it all was what made Goa the idyllic location different from Bomaby the work location, though both are seaside.